Thursday, March 22, 2012

Relaxing in the Front Yard

Today was the first day that Jonah actually seemed relaxed and somewhat comfortable in the front yard.  I started training him to relax and not bark at everything in the back yard because it isn't as busy back there as it is out front.  This week we have been focusing on the front yard most of the time.  Today he climbed the steps when he was finished doing his business and laid down on the step behind me until we went inside.  He did have a few episodes where he barked at people passing by but for the most part, he remained calm and quiet.  As long as I take the treats outside with us he does well.  The few times that I forget to grab them from the refrigerator before we go outside he seems to decide to not listen to me as much and goes ahead and barks at people.  The training videos discuss how this method of training is changing his emotional response to stimuli and I can see it working because he always looks at me to see if I have the treats.  In some ways it is like a child who thinks he can get away with whatever he wants to do if I am not watching him.  But it is also like that same child having his favorite blankie or toy with him before he can relax and settle down properly.  I can't wait until Jonah can graduate away from the treats totally while going outside.  Soon we will be dealing with training him to feel comfortable and safe at the park and other locations.

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